Anorexia is an eating disorder characterised by extreme dieting to the
point of starvation and an anorexic person is unable to discriminate
between normal and abnormal body images. It is commonest among young
girls and may be caused by social, genetic or psychological factors,
or a combination of these.
The incidence of anorexia is increasing but it is not known whether
this is due to better reporting and diagnosis of anorexia or whether
it is increasing in real terms.
Anorexia is commonest in women between 10 and 30 years of age. In rare
cases, it can present in adulthood or before puberty. Many more girls
than boys are affected and it is only seen in countries where thinness
is considered desirable.
Research suggests that young people who diet during early adolescence
are at particular risk of developing eating disorders later in life.
What Are The Causes Of Anorexia???
Psychological/emotional factors. Anorexia has been variously described
as 'the slimmer's disease', 'a relentless pursuit of thinness' and 'a
morbid fear of fatness'. However, for many sufferers anorexia is not
just about dieting or losing weight, rather it is an outward sign of
deep psychological and emotional turmoil. Their behaviour may be an
unconscious attempt to avoid or control painful feelings, a way of
asserting control over life or a reaction to stress.
Psychological characteristics that can make a person more likely to
develop anorexia nervosa include, low self-esteem, Feelings of
ineffectiveness, Need to feel special or unique, Avoidance of conflict
with others, Physical or sexual abuse, Perfectionism, Need for
control, Rigid thinking patterns, Difficulty expressing feelings,
Depression, Poor body image.
Social pressure in society can also be a factor for anorexia. Stick
thin magazine fashion models as well as skinny teen pop idols all help
reinforce the idea that to be successful or loved you have to be thin.
In many societies, being extremely thin is the standard of beauty for
women and represents success, happiness, and self-control. Women are
bombarded with messages from the media that they must diet to meet
this standard. However, this idealized ultra-thin body shape is almost
impossible for most women to achieve since it does not fit with the
biological and inherited factors that determine natural body weight.
This conflict leaves most women very dissatisfied with their body
weight and shape.
[IMAGE][IMAGE]More recently, pressure has also increased on men to be
lean and muscular. In addition, in certain occupations (such as
dancing, modelling, and sports like gymnastics, figure skating,
running, and wrestling), the pressure to maintain a specific weight
and appearance is especially strong. To the right is a picture of
Paris Hilton. This is the...